This hat was three attempts in the making. First it was too big (I forgot to account for negative ease), then too small (I used a newborn head measurement instead of 1 year), and finally it was JUST RIGHT. Each version I made had a slightly different pattern on it – this one, with the checkerboard at the bottom, was the final one and luckily, my favorite! The fair isle got easier each time and I am glad in a way that it took me so many tries because now I am quite comfortable with holding both strands of yarn.

I used sz 1 needles for the solid portions and 3 for the fair isle bits which worked really well. There is no weird bulge where I switched to a single color. There are two things I am not 100% satisfied with, which are related. The first is that the snowflake pattern is not centered over the front-center of the hat. This is because, had I centered it, the disconnect at the end of each round would have fallen mid-snowflake. As it was, it fell at the very end of the snowflake near the diamonds – the other thing I didn’t like. I am not quite sure how to avoid the little jog at the end of a round with fair isle but I am sure I will figure it out eventually!

This yarn is AMAZING. It is so soft and pretty – 100% alpaca, sportweight.

The earflaps – I forget how many stitches I cast on for those – but I picked up 25 stitches across the top of each one. I seem to think I had 112 stitches in total (7 repeats of a 16-stitch repeat snowflake) which means that the front/back were 31 stitches across. The white border was fewer and then I increased after every 3 stitches. After the snowflakes, I decreased 7 times every other row for awhile and then every row.

It fits the recipient remarkably well – and should hopefully allow for a bit of growth too. The earflaps were a bit long – almost long enough to button under his chin – hmmmmmm.
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